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Feature article

Ancient Rainforests or Burning Bush?

Heathland in the Stirling Ranges National Park

Heathland in the Stirling Ranges National Park in south-western Australia: is this more typical of Australia’s Cretaceous vegetation than rainforest?

By Ray Carpenter

New fossil evidence is forcing a rethink of whether rainforest or fire-prone shrubland prevailed in Australia during the age of the dinosaurs.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Biobanks Go Global

Credit: tilialucida/adobe

Credit: tilialucida/adobe

By Paul H. Mason, Wendy Lipworth & Ian Kerridge

Global networks of depositories for biological samples open a range of scientific, legal and ethical challenges.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

When Parallel Worlds Collide

baurka/iStock

baurka/iStock

By Michael Hall

Bizarre quantum phenomena, such as particles tunnelling through barriers and behaving like waves, can be explained by subtle interactions between our world and others.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

A Burning Issue

fire

Dry grasses are burned at the beginning of the Northen Territory’s dry season to avoid larger fires later when lightning storms occur. Credit: travellinglight/iStockphoto

By Kate Osborne

The use of fire to manage Australia’s vast northern savannas is being doused by government bureaucracy, resistance by pastoralists, loss of indigenous knowledge and mistrust of science.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Electric Fish Short-Circuit Blackouts

The sensors can be mounted on power poles tens of kilometres apart and used to locate a fault point and thus detect the incipient signs of a blackout and help to prevent it.

The sensors can be mounted on power poles tens of kilometres apart and used to locate a fault point and thus detect the incipient signs of a blackout and help to prevent it.

By Alexe Bojovschi & Khoi Loon Wong

Electric fish have inspired a new technology that can wirelessly detect where faults in the energy grid are likely to occur before they lead to blackouts.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

How Healthy Is a Cup of Your Favourite Brew?

cuppa

Coffee offers protection from heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers. No more than six small cups of coffee per day are required for these effects, but excessive amounts should be avoided because of unwanted side-effects from caffeine.

By Margaret Allman Farinelli

Drinking tea and coffee may be better for you than you realised, but more is claimed than is substantiated.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

PM Takes a Stalinist Stance on Science

Image: Simon Kneebone

Tony Abbott, like Joseph Stalin, has no decision-making framework when it comes to science. Image: Simon Kneebone

By Ross Honeywill

By pandering to anti-science, Australia’s Prime Minister is repeating the mistakes of Socialist Russia.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Adult Stem Cells Offer New Hope for Diabetics

pancreatic stem cells

Immunofluorescent staining of a colony of pancreatic stem cells showing the expression of insulin (green), the nucleus (blue) and the BrdU nuclear marker of proliferating cells (red).

By Ilia Banakh

The transplantation of insulin-producing cells has been limited by a shortage of donor tissue. Could pancreatic stem cells offer a way forward for the treatment of diabetes?

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Eat Prey, Sieve

Casey presents his teeth during a dental inspection at Taronga Zoo.

Casey presents his teeth during a dental inspection at Taronga Zoo.

By David Hocking

The ability to ambush, capture and tear apart penguins at the water’s edge has earned leopard seals a fearsome reputation. However, new research suggests that these top predators are also able to “filter feed” on krill by using their ferocious-looking cheek teeth as a delicate sieve.

David Hocking is a PhD candidate at Monash University and Museum Victoria.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Hacking the Illegal Trade in Wildlife

A white rhino slaughtered for its horn in southern Africa. © Picture Alliance

A white rhino slaughtered for its horn in southern Africa. © Picture Alliance

By Bill Laurance & David Salt

Hackers should be deployed to disrupt a $23 billion online market in wildlife and wildlife parts.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.